Donald Trump, still in the infancy of his presidency, accomplished something that two former Presidents failed to achieve, though they made campaign promises—and that is to move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, thus establishing Jerusalem as the official capital of Israel. This too was one of the many campaign promises that Mr. Trump made to the largest voting bloc in the United States, the “Christian right.” Not considering the deadly reverberations to the region that this move likely will bring, Donald Trump’s commitment to delivering on his promises and creating a legacy for himself seems to be the primary focus of the President. Heavily influenced by his Catholic and Evangelical advisory boards, many of which are Zionists (those who advocate for the development and protection of a Jewish nation in what is now Israel) or Dominionists (those who seek to institute a nation governed by Christians), Donald Trump is ready to carry out the very whims of his advisors and supporters at any cost. This is one of the reasons that Kenneth Copeland confidently stated shortly after Trump’s election that Evangelicals had a direct line to the President, and if they needed something to be done right away, that Donald Trump would take it seriously and make rapid movements for its accomplishment. In Copeland’s own words, “If the Lord says something to us that the president needs to hear, I have no doubt that we could do it and do it quickly...he would listen and it would mean something to him..."1
What Donald Trump has done is a fulfillment of Bible prophecy. Even those to whom Trump made the pledge that he has appeased by carrying it out are saying that by moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, thus declaring it as the capital of Israel, is prophetic. Consider a CNN headline that reads, “For many evangelicals, Jerusalem is about prophecy, not politics.”2 Of course the prophecy that Evangelicals attribute to Jerusalem in the last days is a false prophecy connected with the fallacy of the secret rapture and other unscriptural errors. However, what Donald Trump has done is a fulfillment of end-time Bible prophecy that is intimately connected with the enforcement of the Mark of the Beast.
Connected with Donald Trump declaring Jerusalem the capital of Israel is the erecting of the third temple on the very spot where King Solomon built the temple, which is now underway.3 Evangelicals support this rebuilding of the temple because they believe that it is a carrying out of duty which will inevitably bring Christ to that temple. They cite David who selected Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, then Solomon building the temple in Jerusalem and then Christ coming to that very temple as the model to be followed. They
believe that once Jerusalem is declared capital of Israel and the temple is reconstructed that the Messiah will come. After which, they believe the “apocalypse” will ensue and the subsequent secret rapture, which will be a time in which the Jews will receive another opportunity to accept the Messiah. While Evangelicals are correct in stating the history of David declaring Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and then Solomon building the temple and later Christ coming to that very temple, they forget a significant part of the prophecy, a role that they in the last days will fulfill in the antitype. In the type, between the building of Solomon’s temple and Christ coming to that temple, Babylon came and destroyed the temple. The Lord allowed this to happen because God’s people apostatized, began to serve idols, and when God sent prophets and messengers to reprove them, they refused, rejected and killed them.
In the antitype we can expect that between the undertaking of the rebuilding of the temple and “Christ” coming, which will be the coming of the Anti-Christ, Satan impersonating Jesus, we must expect Babylon to come again. Babylon this time will come in the form of the National Sunday Law, foretold in Revelation 13:15-17; and these very Evangelicals, Dominionists, who believe that churchmen should occupy political positions and influence politics, will unite with the state to have the church’s institutions and decrees enforced, and all those who do not adhere to these mandates will be persecuted—fined, imprisoned and even killed. After the National Sunday Law is enforced (beginning in the United States), Satan will personate Christ and declare that the Sabbath has been changed to Sunday.
“As the crowning act in the great drama of deception, Satan himself will personate Christ… The church has long professed to look to the Saviour's advent as the consummation of her hopes. Now the great deceiver will make it appear that Christ has come. In different parts of the earth [ including Jerusalem], Satan will manifest himself among men as a majestic being of dazzling brightness, resembling the description of the Son of God given by John in the Revelation. Revelation 1:13-15… The glory that surrounds him is unsurpassed by anything that mortal eyes have yet beheld. The shout of triumph rings out upon the air: ‘Christ has come! Christ has come!’ The people prostrate themselves in adoration before him, while he lifts up his hands and pronounces a blessing upon them, as Christ blessed His disciples when He was upon the earth. His voice is soft and subdued, yet full of melody. In gentle, compassionate tones he presents some of the same gracious, heavenly truths which the Saviour uttered; he heals the diseases of the people, and then, in his assumed character of Christ, he claims to have changed the Sabbath to Sunday, and commands all to hallow the day which he has blessed. He declares that those who persist in keeping holy the seventh day are blaspheming his name by refusing to listen to his angels sent to them with light and truth. This is the strong, almost overmastering delusion.”4
Shortly thereafter, the plagues will fall and the true Jesus will come the second time and His people will meet Him in the air. However, just as Babylon was not to be rebuilt, old Jerusalem will never be rebuilt; though man may attempt it, God will cut short the work. “I was pointed to some who are in the great error of believing that it is their duty to go to
Old Jerusalem, and think they have a work to do there before the Lord comes. Such a view is calculated to take the mind and interest from the present work of the Lord, under the message of the third angel; for those who think that they are yet to go to Jerusalem will have their minds there, and their means will be withheld from the cause of present truth to get themselves and others there. I saw that such a mission would accomplish no real good, that it would take a long while to make a very few of the Jews believe even in the first advent of Christ, much more to believe in His second advent. I saw that Satan had greatly deceived some in this thing and that souls all around them in this land could be helped by them and led to keep the commandments of God, but they were leaving them to perish. I also saw that Old Jerusalem never would be built up; and that Satan was doing his utmost to lead the minds of the children of the Lord into these things now, in the gathering time, to keep them from throwing their whole interest into the present work of the Lord, and to cause them to neglect the necessary preparation for the day of the Lord.”5
The focus on Jerusalem and the plans to rebuild the temple there are sure sign that we have entered the gathering time as the statement says. We know that the proclamation of the Three Angels’ Messages is what prepares those who accept it to be gathered in for the heavenly garner. Conversely, the rejection of these messages, cause individuals to be gathered in bundles to be burned (see Revelation 14:14-20). May we study, accept and proclaim the Three Angels’ Messages, not intellectually only, but also experientially! May our focus be upon the New Jerusalem that will be the habitation of the faithful!
4 White, Ellen. The Great Controversy (1911), page 625
5 Early Writings 75